Smallest Neurosurgery Patient at Beacon Children’s Hospital

Bud Smith was born prematurely in a Michigan City hospital. With bleeding in his brain, a risk when babies are born so early, Bud was transported to Beacon Children’s Hospital. 

Beacon’s NICU team determined he needed surgery. In the past, Bud and his family would have been transferred to a far away hospital for such a procedure. 

Bud would be Dr. Daniel Fulkerson’s first patient, and Beacon’s smallest neurosurgery patient ever. 

Bud was brittle at 29 weeks gestation and he weighed less than two pounds. Before surgery, Dr. Fulkerson held meetings with clinicians to discuss the operation. It would require special surgical instruments and other adjustments and changes. 

Today Bud is healthy and happy. 

“He’s done great since the surgery,” said Dr. Fulkerson. “Time often matters in these cases, so handling a case four hours sooner rather than taking an additional helicopter ride is a big deal.” 

Laura Smith, Bud’s mom, is thankful Dr. Fulkerson could perform the surgery at Beacon. “The nurses became my family after a while, and they took such great care of Bud,” she said.